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Good Intentions: The Ones That Got Away

July 2, 2015

thanksI’ve rarely regretted sending a letter, but so many times, I’ve regretting the ones I waited too long to write—or wrote but never got around to mailing. Growing up, my mother warned me to be careful about what I wrote. I believe she had a bad experience in high school when a letter she wrote to a boy ended up being shared throughout the classroom. Today with so much over-sharing on Facebook, when even middle school students made poor decisions and end up with not just words but pictures out there in cyberspace for all time, it’s hard to remember a time when mere words on a page could cause angst.

I can think of so many times when I’ve failed so write a thank you note for small kindnesses. I probably still owe some apologies, though I hope the intended recipients have either forgotten or forgiven. If the road to hell really is paved with good intentions, then mine is a shovel-ready project.

If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that people cherish letters. They are like time capsules that can warm our hearts again and again—or make us laugh or cry. So many of you have told me in the last few days about the letters that are special to you. I hope somewhere some of my old letters are hanging out in boxes in attics, just waiting to remind someone just why we mattered to each other.

I can’t do much about the letters I haven’t written so far, but I have tried to make communication as easy as possible for myself. For correspondence with some people, I need long, lined legal pad pages, nothing fancy, quantity over quality. At other times, however, a brief note, words chosen carefully, can be enough. I keep boxes of little note cards in my office closet. For even quicker message—just because—I have decided that instead of hoarding all those postcards I buy everywhere I go, I’ll make sure I always have a supply of postcards stamps on hard, so I can dash off a note. Just think: I can entertain the postman too.

One Comment leave one →
  1. sandyyoung75 permalink
    July 3, 2015 3:32 am

    I’ve had some experiences lately involving gifts that I’ve found but have no idea where they came from; nor do I know whether or not I thanked the giver at the time that I received the gift.

    A year or so ago when I was cleaning my desk, I came across a $100 American Express gift card. Then when I was doing the same thing a few weeks ago, I found one for $25, but I know who gave me this one. I think I remember thanking two friends for this.

    Frank found an Amazon gift card a week or so ago and said he felt sure it was mine, so I entered the number and have spent almost all of the $50. Don’t know who in the world gave it to us.

    Right now, both of us are in a quandary. He put on a shirt today and found a $200 gift card to Jackalope, a local Mexican “stuff” store. We must have been given it recently because he wears a shirt only a couple of times before washing it.

    I feel sure friends somewhere are sitting around thinking about how rude we are! And that makes me very sad . . .

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